MP suggests free power, hybrid buses for P’pang
Published on: Sunday, July 21, 2019
By: Larry Ralon

KOTA KINABALU: Penampang MP Datuk Darell Leiking suggested that the Penampang District Council (PDC), which has become a Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) member on Saturday, consider providing free electricity or hybrid buses for its towns and villages. 

“Perhaps PDC can designate a dedicated lane for these buses and convert our public transport buses into cleaner CNG buses,” he said. 

Apart from that, he also suggested that PDC do a study on the clean energy options for Penampang with a view to coming up with recommendations for the State Government to consider. 

“My proposal is for the district to get its energy requirements from renewable sources by at least 15pc-25pc by 2025, the recycling rate within the district be increased by 40pc by 2025 and street lamps in all towns and main road corridors be installed with LED lighting.

“We need to do our baseline and prepare a Climate Action Plan to cut down our district’s Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. I saw that Iskandar Malaysia aims to cut down its GHG emissions by more than half by 2025, using 2010 as its base year, and Kuala Lumpur more ambitious at 70pc by 2030. 

“Penampang must do the same. But, at the same time, we should not only prepare our climate mitigation plans but, more importantly, also prepare adaptation plans as well as carry out Risk Vulnerability Assessment,” he said at the opening of the GCoM for Climate and Energy, here, Saturday.

Leiking said his vision for Penampang is to create towns and neighbourhoods where people want to live in, take pride of and feel a sense of belonging. 

“We have many cities to emulate and these cities are implementing compact cities, walkable cities and towns, and neighbourhoods that are sustainable, practising low carbon lifestyles and using renewable energy as a main source of power...we should learn and benchmark ourselves with the best cities from around the world. 

“You may not know this but Penampang is one of the pioneers in alternative energy provision. Most of the rural and interior areas of Sabah are not connected to the electricity grid. 

“In these areas, Tonibung has been installing inexpensive mini-hydro to power villages. We have high mountains and fast-flowing rivers, which are good for such mini-hydro. This green technology is therefore something we are very proud of. 

“The technology is simple but very effective in providing free electricity to our rural communities. In this way, we can cut down our GHG emissions,” he said.

He also said Penampang has been experiencing frequent flooding, extreme temperature variations, hill and soil erosion, land subsidence and very heavy downpours. 

“We can no longer ignore and accept these problems as normal. We have to do something today. I am therefore very happy that GCoM is here to help us. We need your expertise and vast knowledge and experience. I welcome you all to share and reach consensus. 

“I sincerely hope that through this historic event, Penampang and every one of you here today will have a very good idea of what GCoM is all about; how it can help highlight and perhaps even solve our flooding and other pressing problems. 

“The PDC and my office are already doing green projects. But we could do much more and more frequently. We have the opportunity now to learn from the best, I am confident that we can transform the Penampang District in a sustainable way,” said Leiking.

GCoM for Climate and Energy is an international coalition of cities and local authorities with shared long-term vision of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low-carbon society and climate resilient future. 

The European Union is supporting the implementation of the GCoM in Asia through the International Urban Cooperation (IUC) Asia project. The three-day GCoM for Climate and Energy event here includes a training module focused on climate action planning, climate financing and target setting and elaboration of the climate action plan. 

Deputy Chief Minister cum Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Jaujan Sambakong, Kota Kinabalu Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman, PDC Chairman Henry Idol, European Union’s International Urban Cooperation Asia’s Lead Expert, Piero Remitti, and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UMS) Low Carbon Asia Research Centre’s Professor Dr Ho Chin Siong, among others, were also present.



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